Jacob Zuma , 73, has been South Africa’s president since 2009, when he became the fourth leader of the nation since South Africa held its first, free elections in 1994.
He is a long-time member of the African National Congress (ANC), the ruling party that battled for decades to end the repressive regime of apartheid. He fought during the liberation struggle and spent a decade in prison on Robben Island with Nelson Mandela.
Mr Zuma’s tenure as president, however, has been a rocky one, engulfed in scandal in recent years as allegations of corruption and cronyism against him and his administration have piled up.
The Democratic Alliance has tabled the latest no-confidence motion after Zuma sacked several members of his cabinet in a controversial reshuffle in March, including a respected finance minister. The move prompted major credit ratings agencies to downgrade South Africa’s credit rating to junk.
These are dark days for South Africa. Exports are falling; commodity prices are falling; the rand has slumped. The economy shrank by 1.2 per cent in the first quarter of 2016 alone: it is now only the continent’s third largest. Unemployment is at 26.7 per cent – an eight-year high – and business confidence is at its lowest for more than two decades.
Citizens are being urged to tighten their belts, drastically. But not everyone is suffering. Last month it emerged that the wives of president Zuma – he has four – have had 11 new cars bought for them in the past three years, for a combined cost of about 8.6m rand (£374,000). The money was supplied, helpfully, from the official budget of the police.
His credibility was severely damaged in March 2016 when South Africa's highest court ruled that he violated the constitution by failing to repay the government for money used on upgrading his private residence, including building a cattle enclosure, amphitheatre, swimming pool, visitor centre and chicken run. The president apologised to South Africans for the "frustration and confusion" caused by the scandal and vowed to repay the money.
His political career was written off in the run-up to the 2009 election when he was simultaneously battling allegations of rape and corruption.
He was acquitted of rape, though the corruption case has proved harder to shake off.
He always denied charges of money-laundering and racketeering, stemming from a controversial $5bn arms deal signed in 1999 and had said he would resign if found guilty of wrong-doing.
The case was controversially dropped by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) just weeks before the elections which saw him become president.
Some seven years later, the opposition is still fighting for the charges to be reinstated and has asked the courts to review the NPA's decision. There is yet to be a ruling.